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Union Square buildings are taking shape at last
THE first two buildings for Swindon’s massive £500m Union Square development are gradually rising into the skyline as work continues on the concrete structures.
The £25m first phase focuses on the site of the former police station and includes an 850-space car park and 45 assisted living apartments, both of which are six-storey buildings.
John Sisk and Son Ltd, which is responsible for the construction, has revealed that the groundworks and foundations are complete and workmen are now installing the concrete frames.
Ian Downing, contracts manager, said: “From the public’s viewpoint, you will see all the vertical elements, such as the columns. “And in two weeks you should see the pre-cast planks going into the car park. These form the floor of the car park.
“It’s pretty much repetitive from here on in. You will see the buildings every couple of weeks getting a little bit higher.”
Mr Downing said the firm was on schedule to have the frame for the car park complete by the end of January and the frame for the assisted living completed by mid-January. The external finishing would then be done.
Union Square is the office-led mixed-use development that is being pushed ahead by the council, economic development firm Forward Swindon, developer Muse and the Homes And Communities Agency.
Phase one also includes a new building for local healthcare administration, but this will be built later because it has been delayed due to negotiations between the PCT and Muse.
Ian Piper,chief executive of Forward Swindon, said: “It’s very exciting. There’s the cranes on the horizon which is a sign of real positive activity in the town, it’s a sign of private sector investment in the town.
“And very soon we will see the buildings rising as well and taking shape and it’s really good to see such a big scheme getting under way.”
Coun Garry Perkins , cabinet member for regeneration and culture, said: “Everything is going well at the moment and after such a long wait for this to start. And in 12 months’ time the car park is due to be finished and the housing is due to be finished in August next year.
“So in 12 months’ time that site will be completed which will be good because it means we can start looking at phases two and three.”